"It feels great just to be able to pick up a baseball and throw again," Gorgen said.
Despite his injury, I ranked Gorgen #30 on my personal Cardinals prospect list coming into the 2010 season. The now-24-year-old was one of the most effective pitchers in the system during the early part of the 2010 season and should be again upon his return in 2012. Time and health remain his only enemies.
Gorgen went 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA last April and was named The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Pitcher of the Month. In 22 2/3 innings, the former University of California-Irvine hurler collected 23 strikeouts compared to only eight walks. His win total paced the Texas League while his ERA and strikeout total was the fourth best in the circuit.
On May 19, Gorgen was 5-1 and had worked his ERA down to 1.17 when he suffered an elbow injury. He tried rest, but after a late-season return as a reliever, the pain was considerable. Gorgen and the organization came to the conclusion that surgery was necessary.
Scott's excitement in throwing again was tempered by family disappointment, however. He informed me that his twin brother Matt had his own Tommy John procedure on March 16 in California, the next day after Scott was first allowed to pick up a baseball again.
Matt was reportedly impressing new Arizona Diamondbacks pitching coach Chuck Nagy and was well-positioned to compete for a bullpen spot on the big club this spring. He had been acquired by Arizona from Tampa late last season in return for major leaguer Chad Qualls.
However, Matt's elbow gave out just as his brother's had. Now, Scott can provide tips and encouragement to his twin. In the meantime, both of their major league dreams have been put on hold.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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